The first-ever Valerie Baker Memorial Award has gone to Victorian broker Belinda Scott, with a ceremony at the 2014 Steadfast Convention.
The judges singled out Scott, of BJS Insurance Brokers, for her excellent work in growing a thriving business from a single office in regional Victoria to one boasting five offices around the country.
The award is named for Valerie Baker, a pioneer in Australian insurance and the first woman to be director of an insurance company in this country. She died last year from a rare form of cancer.
Judging Panel Chairwoman and sister Sheila Baker says the award was open to brokers and underwriting agencies and attracted a high calibre of nominees.
“We were bowled over by the quality of all the nominees, not just the finalists,” she says.
“It was a difficult decision for us, and we laboured over it for some time. We had the cream of Australia’s insurance talent in front of us. Valerie would have been very proud.”
The judging criteria involved ethics and values, business success, client relationships, teamwork, innovation and entrepreneurship, and industry contribution.
Scott’s prize involves a professional development trip to London next month.
The other finalists were:
- Sharon Fox Slater – EBM Insurance Brokers
- Ben Goodall – Griffiths Goodall Insurance Brokers
- Ben Johnston Bradford – Specialist Underwriting Agencies
- Julie Pernecker – All Parks Insurance